Barrier Free Disability Japan Travel

Disability action group asks why Japan aims for Universal Design Taxis but wheelchair users are often refused service

"There are universal design (UD) taxis in Japan which wheelchair users can use but often the driver refuses disabled people. The organization “DPI Japan” will conduct a survey to investigate such refusals in different areas of Japan. The DPI aims to improve the situation before many wheelchair users from overseas visit Japan for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.”

By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from The Asahi Shimbun

October 30th 2019

There are universal design (UD) taxis in Japan which wheelchair users can use but often the driver refuses disabled people. The organization “DPI Japan” will conduct a survey to investigate such refusals in different areas of Japan. The DPI aims to improve the situation before many wheelchair users from overseas visit Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Disabled People’s International Japan Branch, or DPI Japan, announced on its website on October 29th, that a campaign to raise awareness about the difficulties people with disabilities face when trying to use taxis, will start on October 30th. The DPI offers a form that people with disabilities, after using a taxi, can fill out and send to the DPI.

The DPI points out on its website that the Japanese government:

“[A]ims to realize 25% UD taxis in Tokyo’s 23 wards in 2020 as a priority barrier-free development in the UD 2020 action plan, but it is spreading not only in Tokyo but throughout the country. Unfortunately, however, wheelchair users are often refused a ride.”

There are many cases where potential disabled taxi users are rejected when making reservations for taxi ranks.

The survey will be conducted on more than 100 UD taxis mainly in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

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